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Review : The New Tate Modern opening 17th June 2016

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Although the new Tate Modern does not open to the public until the 17th June, members of the press were given a sneak preview of what is considered the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library. The new Switch House building has been designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the original conversion of the Bankside Power Station in 2000.

The Switch House increases the size of Tate Modern by 60% and provides a series of new spaces to visitors including the subterranean concrete Tanks which will offer the first permanent museum spaces dedicated to live art and a stunning panoramic public viewing terrace on Level 10 which offers  wonderful views of London. With the Switch Room on one side and the Boiler House on the other side, the cavernous Turbine Hall now becomes the central space of the Tate Modern.

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Since Tate Modern first opened in 2000, it has become one of the most visited art galleries in the world and the opening of the Switch Room and rehanging of the Boiler House consolidates the organisations commitment to a more diverse programme. The free collection displays feature 800 works by over 300 artists from over 50 countries from Chile to India, Russia and Sudan to Thailand.  Seventy-five percent of the art on show has been acquired since Tate Modern first opened and half of the solo displays are dedicated to women artists.

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The large galleries of the new Switch House concentrates on art from the 1960s to the present day with active sculptures and live performances in the Tanks area. Level 2 explores Object and Architecture with work from Ricardo Basbaum, Joan Jonas and Lewis Balz. Level 3 tries to understand the relationship between the artist and real life with work from Anna Lupas, Helio Oiticica and Rebecca Horn.

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Level 4 looks at contemporary city life and dedicates a room to Louise Bourgeois which features one of her trademark spiders. Tate Exchange, an ‘open experiment’ occupies the entire fifth floor of the new Switch House building. Over 50 organisations will participate in Tate Modern’s programme, running events and projects on site and using art as a way of addressing wider issues in the world around us.

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The opening of the New Tate Modern will be celebrated by free live performances, new commissions and a host of other special events. Three weeks of live art will animate the displays, this free programme will include Tania Bruguera’s police on horseback to Tino Sehgal’s gallery attendants bursting into song. The Tanks will host new live performance commissions running every day from 17 June to 3 July 2016.

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The new Tate Modern will stay open until 22:00 each evening this weekend for a series of special events including a specially commissioned choral work by artist Peter Liversidge, performed at 17:00 on Saturday 18 June by over 500 singers from community choirs across London. Free screenings of film and video works from Tate’s collection will be held throughout each day in the newly refurbished Starr Cinema, while special events for young people and families will take place across the weekend.

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In many ways the new Switch Room creates a more balanced Tate Modern with galleries both side of the wonderful Turbine Hall that now features a Tree exhibit from Ai Weiwei. The bridges between the two parts of the galleries offer exciting new perspectives of the Turbine Hall and makes travelling between the two parts of the building easier.

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The design of the Switch Room with exposed raw concrete pays tribute to the power station’s industrial past, however the sweeping curving staircases and geometric shapes of the building are a work of art in their own right.

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The magnificent panoramic views from the public viewing terrace on Level 10 are likely to be very popular with the many visitors who visit Tate Modern and the new parts of the building will allow considerable scope to push back the boundaries of what you can provide in a modern gallery and consolidate Tate Modern’s reputation as one of the world’s great centres of contemporary art.

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Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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A Short Guide to the Tate Modern

Tate Modern

Location – Bankside, London  SE1 9TG

Tate Modern is London’s premier Art Gallery for Modern Art, it houses works of International Modern and Contemporary Art from 1900 to the present day.

Since its opening in 2000 it has grown to be the most visited Modern Art Gallery in the world with almost 5 million visitors annually.

The Art Gallery is situated in the former Bankside Power Station which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was built-in 1947 and closed in 1981. The unique setting of a disused power station has enable the Tate Modern to put on shows and exhibits on a scale not possible for most other galleries. Its Turbine Hall, which once housed the electricity generators is five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floorspace.

It is estimated that the building was built with over four million bricks and the Gallery incorporates the industrial theme into its interior spaces. Spread over seven floors the main galleries are on Floors 2,3,4, there is a number of themes and subjects which encourage the visitor to explore the various areas. There are works from a wide range of artists from Picasso, Mondrian, Klee to Pollack.

Part of the success of the Tate Modern has been its ability to attract a wide range of visitors who are often bemused and bewildered by some of the exhibits. The often quick turnaround of some of the exhibits means there is always something new and interesting to see.

The restaurant and café are also very popular with wonderful views of St Paul’s and the City of London.

The large Tate Modern bookshop is a wonderful place to pick up a book on Modern Art or find that quirky present amongst the wide range of gifts.

Admission & opening times

Admission to Tate Modern is free, except for special exhibitions

Opening times

Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00

Friday – Saturday, 10.00–22.00

For more information visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here